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Yes, They Were Guilty. But of What Exactly? [NYT FINALLY admits Rosenbergs were guilty!]
NY Times ^ | June 15, 2003 | SAM ROBERTS

Posted on 06/15/2003 6:43:14 AM PDT by Pharmboy


Robert, left, and Michael Rosenberg in June 1953.

Fifty years ago Thursday, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed in the electric chair at Sing Sing. Their execution, originally set for 11 p.m. on Friday, June 19, 1953, was rescheduled for 8 p.m. to avoid conflict with the Jewish sabbath.

"They were to be killed more quickly than planned," the playwright Arthur Miller wrote, "to avoid any shadow of bad taste."

A shadow lingers.

"I grew up believing Ethel and Julius were completely innocent," Robert Meeropol, who was 6 years old in 1953, says of the Rosenbergs, his parents. "By the time I completed law school in 1985, however, I realized that the evidence we had amassed did not actually prove my parents' innocence but rather only demonstrated that they had been framed."

After digesting newly released American decryptions of Soviet cables a decade later, Mr. Meeropol came to a revised conclusion. "While the transcriptions seemed inconclusive, they forced me to accept the possibility that my father had participated in an illegal and covert effort to help the Soviet Union defeat the Nazis," he writes in his new memoir, "An Execution in the Family: One Son's Journey" (St. Martin's Press).

Of course, the Rosenbergs weren't executed for helping the Soviets defeat the Nazis, but as atom spies for helping Stalin end America's brief nuclear monopoly. They weren't charged with treason (the Russians were technically an ally in the mid-1940's) or even with actual spying. Rather, they were accused of conspiracy to commit espionage — including enlisting Ethel's brother, David Greenglass, through his wife, Ruth, to steal atomic secrets from the Los Alamos weapons laboratory where he was stationed as an Army machinist during World War II. Mr. Greenglass's chief contribution was to corroborate what the Soviets had already gleaned from other spies, which by 1949 enabled them to replicate the bomb dropped on Nagasaki. (He confessed, testified against his sister and brother-in-law and was imprisoned for 10 years; Ruth testified, too, and was spared prosecution.)

As leverage against Julius, Ethel was also indicted on what, in retrospect, appears to have been flimsy evidence. The government didn't have to prove that anything of value was delivered to the Soviets, only that the participants acted to advance their goal.

"When you're dealing with a conspiracy, you don't have to be the kingpin, you have to participate," says James Kilsheimer, who helped prosecute the Rosenbergs. "You can't be partially guilty any more than you can be partially pregnant."

But to justify the death penalty, which was invoked to press the Rosenbergs to confess and implicate others, the government left the impression that the couple had handed America's mightiest weapon to the Soviets and precipitated the Korean War.

Records of the grand jury that voted the indictment remain sealed. But we now know the Soviet cables decoded before the trial provided no hard evidence of Ethel's complicity. And Mr. Greenglass has recently admitted that he lied about the most incriminating evidence against his sister. The government's strategy backfired. Ethel wouldn't budge. The Rosenbergs refused to confess and were convicted.

"She called our bluff," William P. Rogers, the deputy attorney general at the time, said shortly before he died in 2001.

"They had the key to the death chamber in their hands," Mr. Kilsheimer says. "They never used it."

Whatever military and technical secrets Julius delivered to the Russians — and it now seems all but certain that, as a committed Communist, he did provide information — the Rosenbergs proved more valuable as martyrs than as spies.

"The Soviets did win the propaganda war," said Robert J. Lamphere, an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The war isn't over. David Greenglass is 81; Ruth Greenglass is 79. They live under a pseudonym because their surname has become synonymous with betrayal of kin and country. "Perhaps," Mr. Meeropol says, "this is David and Ruth's final punishment."

On Thursday, Mr. Meeropol, who is 56, and his brother Michael, who is 60, (they took their adoptive parents' name) will attend a program at City Center in Manhattan to "commemorate the Rosenbergs' resistance" and benefit the Rosenberg Fund for Children, which Robert runs.

Michael Meeropol is chairman of the economics department at Western New England College. Would any evidence ever convince him that his father was a spy? "If Soviet documents were verified as historically accurate, I'd certainly believe that," he replied.

Then what? How would he explain his father's behavior? "I would have to do some thinking about my parents being involved in dangerous things, but I can't judge people from the 1940's," he said. "He's not in the Army. He has bad eyesight. He can't make the contribution that others were making. I could argue that this was a way of doing it."

To this day, plenty of people would argue that he's wrong.

Sam Roberts, the deputy editor of the Week in Review, is the author of "The Brother: The Untold Story of the Rosenberg Case."


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; Government; Russia
KEYWORDS: coldwar; leftyapologists; nytimes; rosenbergs; spying
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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"The Soviets did win the propaganda war," said Robert J. Lamphere, an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Not too difficult when essentially all of the media were on the Russkies' side.

This story is, however, a step forward for the Paper of a [terrible] Record...

1 posted on 06/15/2003 6:43:14 AM PDT by Pharmboy
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To: Pharmboy
The Rosenberg Case- Spies, Scapegoats, or something inbetween?

-The Old Grey Info-Slut... the NYT/Jayson Blair Affair--

2 posted on 06/15/2003 6:47:43 AM PDT by backhoe (Just an old keyboard cowboy, ridin' the trackball into the sunset...)
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To: backhoe
This link explains the game of chicken the Rosenbergs played with the government. The Government would not back down. If Julius Rosenberg only confessed his part, he would've only served ten years because, as the link explains, that would be how the life sentence worked out. Retrying the Rosenbergs
3 posted on 06/15/2003 7:05:15 AM PDT by UbIwerks
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To: UbIwerks
Thanks for that very informative link.
4 posted on 06/15/2003 7:08:28 AM PDT by backhoe (Just an old keyboard cowboy, ridin' the trackball into the sunset...)
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To: backhoe
Thanks for filling in with this encyclopedic source for the treasonous couple...
5 posted on 06/15/2003 7:19:15 AM PDT by Pharmboy (Dems lie 'cause they have to...)
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To: Pharmboy; RJayneJ
The Paper of [a terrible] Record
LOL! I cleaned up the punctuation, but--LOL!

6 posted on 06/15/2003 7:20:07 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion
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To: Pharmboy
This story is, however, a step forward for the Paper of a [terrible] Record...

Ouch... Well said, I will use this.

7 posted on 06/15/2003 7:21:32 AM PDT by RJL
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
Thanks for your edit...you are correct!
8 posted on 06/15/2003 7:29:27 AM PDT by Pharmboy (Dems lie 'cause they have to...)
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To: Pharmboy
I was a little boy when the Rosenbergs were electrocuted, and I will never forget what my Mom
( who ended up in Army Intelligence in WWII... yeah, I know the joke! )
answered to my "why did they have to kill them, Mom?"

"Because what they did could cause millions of Americans to die..."

9 posted on 06/15/2003 7:38:05 AM PDT by backhoe (Just an old keyboard cowboy, ridin' the trackball into the sunset...)
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To: UbIwerks
Reading what Ethel Rosenberg said ....I just see her as a Susan Sarandon type. Stubborn and trying to get the gov't into martyring her for the *cause*.

Both of them (J & E) seemed to have been so enamored of their political philosophy that they would not confess their crime. According to your link, if they did they would have served and been done with it. Eisenhower and the FBI did what they could (ie, the FBI had an open 24 hr a day phone line with them).

I see this as people who are dumbly hanging onto their political philosophy at all costs. They didn't have to die. They didn't have to have their children orphaned. But they knew they would become martyrs.

So many of the left today have this same idiotic philosophy, and dare I say the muslim suicide bombers have this same philosophy in their head.

It takes brainpower to get unbrainwashed.

10 posted on 06/15/2003 7:44:48 AM PDT by I_Love_My_Husband
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To: UbIwerks
History will show the entire truth of the Rosenbergs when all information is allowed to be released. The government had complete and factual proof that could not be shown into evidence. It was in the country's best interest that the proof was not revealed. The judge was shown the proof and hence the death sentences.
11 posted on 06/15/2003 7:46:47 AM PDT by jshermn
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To: jshermn
History will show the entire truth of the Rosenbergs when all information is allowed to be released. The government had complete and factual proof that could not be shown into evidence. It was in the country's best interest that the proof was not revealed. The judge was shown the proof and hence the death sentences.

Some of the [non judicial] evidence was mentioned much earlier. When Julius Rosenberg was imprisoned he tried to enlist someone in his spyring and Ethel Rosenberg's mother complained that her daughter was "a soldier of Stalin's."

12 posted on 06/15/2003 7:49:46 AM PDT by UbIwerks
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To: Pharmboy
Thanks for posting this!
13 posted on 06/15/2003 7:56:35 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Support The Brave Iranian Students as they bring about a needed regime change!)
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To: Travis McGee; Ernest_at_the_Beach; BOBTHENAILER
As more data comes out, we will see how the left wing/pro communist mediots enabled the Commies to become the power that they were.
14 posted on 06/15/2003 7:58:31 AM PDT by Grampa Dave (Support The Brave Iranian Students as they bring about a needed regime change!)
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To: UbIwerks
Many CPUSA mambers of the day dutifully reported to Moscow for execution when ordered to do so by Stalin. People all over the world were victims of the purges and show trials and did nothing to escape their fate. Such true-belivers of such a failed fantasy!
15 posted on 06/15/2003 8:01:20 AM PDT by muir_redwoods
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To: I_Love_My_Husband
"Reading what Ethel Rosenberg said ....I just see her as a Susan Sarandon type. Stubborn and trying to get the gov't into martyring her for the *cause*. "

Please don't do that! You may just have given some Hollywood commie the idea to do another ultra-left wing, extremist liberal movie dealing the "truth" about Ethel the traitor. No matter how bad such a movie is, it would certainly be nominated for an academy awrd (a show business salute to show business) as would Sue for her role as the lovely Ethel.

16 posted on 06/15/2003 8:03:13 AM PDT by Tacis
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To: Pharmboy
"...'but I can't judge people from the 1940's', he said."

There's a confession from the heart of darkness of modern 'liberalism'; the inability to tell right from wrong.

Moral bankruptcy coupled with intellectual corruption is the hallmark of the Left.
17 posted on 06/15/2003 8:24:58 AM PDT by headsonpikes
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To: Tacis
Please don't do that! You may just have given some Hollywood commie the idea to do another ultra-left wing, extremist liberal movie dealing the "truth" about Ethel the traitor.

Maybe. The problem is that if you portray her as aware and active, she would then appear guilty of putting her country's freedom, and the lives of millions, at such grave risk that her execution was more than justified. And it you portray her as a half-aware simpleton doing a few chores for her husband, you'll be in trouble with the feminists. A no-win role for a liberal.

18 posted on 06/15/2003 8:27:07 AM PDT by Steve Eisenberg
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To: I_Love_My_Husband
Reading what Ethel Rosenberg said ....I just see her as a Susan Sarandon type. Stubborn and trying to get the gov't into martyring her for the *cause*

The government indicted Ethel, hoping she'd testify against Julius, or that Julius would confess, to spare her. What the government underestimated was the depth of the Rosenbergs' commitment to Communism. Ron Radosh wrote a book about the Rosenbergs, and showed that the Rosenbergs went to their death fully conscious of their status as "martyrs" for the Communist cause.

19 posted on 06/15/2003 8:38:13 AM PDT by Madstrider
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To: All
Here's the FBI link (with pix of the participants).

The Atom Spy Case

20 posted on 06/15/2003 9:00:41 AM PDT by I_Love_My_Husband
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To: Madstrider
Ethel Rosenberg's own response was quite different: "the great democratic United States," she said, "is proposing the savage destruction of a small, unoffending Jewish family." When, on the eve of the execution, the United States marshal told her that her final appeal had been denied and the death sentence would be carried out in a matter of hours, she added: "the Rosenbergs will be the first victims of American fascism."

AEI link

Very dramatic. However, all's they had to do was confess...but they didn't. They made a decision together to be martyrs. They didn't have to be. In the process their sons suffered for their selfishness/stubbornness/committment to a faux phony idealistic cause called Communism.

21 posted on 06/15/2003 9:08:24 AM PDT by I_Love_My_Husband
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To: Pharmboy
The brothers are totally unconcerned over the impact on America of the left's defense of the indefensible nor of the American troops killed in Korea because of what their parents did.
22 posted on 06/15/2003 9:14:52 AM PDT by DPB101
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To: muir_redwoods
Many CPUSA mambers of the day dutifully reported to Moscow for execution when ordered to do so by Stalin.

That's something I never heard before. Can you back it up?

Of course, they may have been summoned under some other pretext. But to go thousands of miles to their deaths, knowingly and willingly? I find that rather hard to believe.

-ccm

23 posted on 06/15/2003 9:23:04 AM PDT by ccmay
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To: Tacis; HISSKGB; Grampa Dave; dix
The MO of the left since John Reed and Emma Goldman's day has been to put the government on trial and pretend to be defenders of the rule of law and the Bill of Rights:
Request to the Judiciary Committee of the U.S. Senate

TO INVESTIGATE THE CONDUCT OF THE
U. S. ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE
IN THE ROSENBERG-SOBELL CASE

Submitted by:

THE NATIONAL ROSENBERG-SOBELL COMMITTEE
1050 Sixth Avenue
New York City 18, N. Y.

INTRODUCTION

The functions of the Attorney General's office, including the offices of the various United States attorneys and their assistants, as well as the various bureaus in the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are to carry out the laws of our nation. These officials are charged with the responsibility not only of prosecuting those persons accused of crimes but also of protecting impartially the constitutional and legal rights of all citizens . . . continued

Not much different than what the left is saying today about the convictions of Mumia Abu Jamal,Jonathan Pollard, Leonard Peltier and Lori Berenson.
24 posted on 06/15/2003 9:49:47 AM PDT by DPB101
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To: I_Love_My_Husband
However, all's they had to do was confess...

The government used Inquisition tactics. Why do you suppose we have a Fifth Amendment? Maybe they were guilty, maybe not. But you cannot use their confession...or lack of...as proof. It's criminal and primitive to do so.

In any case it was certain that the secret of the atomic bomb could not be kept after it's existance was revealed. Not a single scientist thought it could be. Technology of all kinds spreads like wildfire in the modern world.

25 posted on 06/15/2003 9:54:33 AM PDT by liberallarry
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To: Grampa Dave
How many of their spawn are now embedded in the universities and the media, and among the commie'rat judges?
26 posted on 06/15/2003 10:07:15 AM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: Travis McGee
Bring back McCarthy.

He was right.

As a matter of fact get Newt out there running for office again.
27 posted on 06/15/2003 12:06:19 PM PDT by I_Love_My_Husband
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To: DPB101
It seems that nothing has changed with the left. They still mouth the same old things.
28 posted on 06/15/2003 12:07:18 PM PDT by I_Love_My_Husband
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To: UbIwerks; DPB101
UbIwerks;
You link quotes Prof Ellen Schricker/Schrecker as saying the Rosenbergs exhibited "non-traditional patriotism". It's to her shame that she didn't mention this patriotism was anti-American. Shrecker has also been quoted as saying that the current revelations of commie treachery is only being done "to make the left look bad".

DBP101; The commie left never gives up. Mumia Abul Jemal's defense is almost a word for word copy of your cite. Mumia made one big mistake when he and his supporters claimed for many years the bullet shell casings found at the murder scene did not come from his gun. When Mumia's lawyer finally admitted this was a lie, the left found another lawyer for Mumia.

The NYT' author of this piece cleverly omits the majority of the evidence. The Times slyly tries to brainwash the public into thinking that only the FBI was involved in nailing the Rosenbergs and ignores the findings of countless others including the original military intelligence investigations.
29 posted on 06/15/2003 12:40:57 PM PDT by HISSKGB
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To: liberallarry
The government used Inquisition tactics. Why do you suppose we have a Fifth Amendment?

Oh please. That is the Willi Munzenberg defense. They got their due process and then some. American troops were being slaughtered in Korea by the regime the Rosenbergs loved--a regime which had murdered more than the Nazis ever did. And they wanted America to become just like that regime. The proximity fuse Julius hand delivered to the KGB as a "Christmas present" killed American soldiers.

They were lucky they were not taken before a military court and shot or dragged out of prison by mobs and lynched.

30 posted on 06/15/2003 12:53:47 PM PDT by DPB101 (The Marines) have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's." --Harry Truman.1950)
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To: liberallarry
In any case it was certain that the secret of the atomic bomb could not be kept after it's existance was revealed. Not a single scientist thought it could be. Technology of all kinds spreads like wildfire in the modern world.

So it is OK to give secrets to enemies of America if they would get them someday anyways?

My gosh.

Btw...it wasn't that easy to make the bomb. Had the Soviets not had the bomb when they did, had the Rosenbergs, Ted Hall and others not helped them get the bomb, Stalin would not have given North Korea the OK to invade the south. Times would have been bought. American lives saved.

31 posted on 06/15/2003 1:02:09 PM PDT by DPB101 (The Marines) have a propaganda machine that is almost equal to Stalin's." --Harry Truman.1950)
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To: DPB101
I have no problem with the guilty verdict. I have no problem with the death sentence. I do have a problem with trying to obtain a confession by threat of death. Of what value is such a confession? How does it differ from Hitelerian and Stalinist confessions obtained by similar methods?
32 posted on 06/15/2003 1:18:53 PM PDT by liberallarry
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To: liberallarry
I have no problem with the guilty verdict. I have no problem with the death sentence. I do have a problem with trying to obtain a confession by threat of death. Of what value is such a confession? How does it differ from Hitelerian and Stalinist confessions obtained by similar methods?

The same type offer was made to Bruno Richard Hauptman about the kidnap and death of the Lindbergh baby. It's obviously been done in American justice for some time.

33 posted on 06/15/2003 1:25:58 PM PDT by UbIwerks
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To: DPB101
I read your Willi Munzenberg nonsense.

1)It has nothing to do with the thread
2)The Nazis had similar anti-intellectual sentiments
3)You can't seriously believe intellectuals are dumber than the general public
4)Many others besides intellectuals were enamoured of despots; Father Coughlin and his followers, British aristocrats, Charles Lindberg, Winston Churchill (before '37), Neville Chamberlain, most of the Republican isolationists...the list is very long

34 posted on 06/15/2003 1:31:38 PM PDT by liberallarry
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To: UbIwerks
It's obviously been done in American justice for some time

It's still done. Suspected drug dealers routinely face a version of it (with less serious consequences). If the accused is guilty it can be very effective. But if he's innocent...?

Do you really have so much confidence in our system of justice? In any system of human justice? What was the purpose of the Fifth amendment if not to prevent government from using its overwhelming power to extort confessions?

35 posted on 06/15/2003 2:00:12 PM PDT by liberallarry
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To: DPB101
Btw...it wasn't that easy to make the bomb. Had the Soviets not had the bomb when they did, had the Rosenbergs, Ted Hall and others not helped them get the bomb, Stalin would not have given North Korea the OK to invade the south. Times would have been bought. American lives saved

On this point you may be right. I don't know enough of the history of the period to be sure.

But on general principals
1)Stalin had no more control of the North Korean invasion of the South than he did of VietNamese resistance to the French. He reacted to rather than instigated it
2)We could have used the atomic bomb in Korea had we so chosen. We had many, the Russians very few. We chose not to for other reasons (If I remember correctly, we were ready to use the bomb in '54 against the VietNamese. It was the French rather than Eisenhower who declined).

36 posted on 06/15/2003 2:12:06 PM PDT by liberallarry
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To: DPB101
The proximity fuse Julius hand delivered to the KGB as a "Christmas present" killed American soldiers

If that's true why wasn't he tried for murder?

37 posted on 06/15/2003 2:17:43 PM PDT by liberallarry
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To: liberallarry; I_Love_My_Husband; MEG33; aculeus; Bonaparte; aristeides; dix; Grampa Dave; ...
I read your Willi Munzenberg nonsense.

Nonsense? It is a review of the book Double Lives: Spies and Writers in the Secret Soviet War of Ideas Against the West, by Stephen Koch. With whom do you disagree? Koch or the reviewer, Mark Y. Herring?

Herring also reviewedStalin's apologist : Walter Duranty, the New York Times man in Moscow, by S.J. Taylor. I thought that book quite good. Is there something about Herring or these two books I should know but don't?

My reply was on topic. The Rosenbergs were not alone. There was an entire nest of traitors which worked for the Soviet Union from 1920 until the end of the Cold War.

The U.S. Senate has confirmed this to be true.

REPORT OF THE COMMISSION ON PROTECTING AND REDUCING GOVERNMENT SECRECY (1997). Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Chairman:

(John) Reed was a Soviet agent. On January 22, 1920, he received from the Comintern gold, jewels, and other valuables worth 1,008,000 rubles for Party work in the United States. (Note: over $1 million US)The United States Government did not know this. It has only just been discovered in Soviet archives . . .

For the next seven decades the United States Government would be the object of a sustained Soviet campaign of infiltration and subversion. There would be, as with Great Britain, a measure of success among elites, but in the pattern now already seen, an ethnic factor would be the most prominent.

In the beginning, most American Communists would be Russians. The Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA) was organized at Moscow’s behest in 1921, merging Reed’s Communist Labor Party with the Communist Party of America, organized by a former socialist, Midwesterner Charles Emil Ruthenberg. The membership was not large and was overwhelmingly foreign-born . . .more

The "everybody does it" excuse doesn't work. All those you claim on the right who defended despots ended up fighting both communism and fascism. They same isn't true on the left. Many on the left defended Hitler when he was allied with Stalin and only became pro-war after the Nazis invaded the Soviet Union. There are literally hundreds of prominent left wingers one can name who aided and abetted the Soviet Union and other communist regimes. Look at Robert Scheer today. A man who thought Kim Il Sung was a hero of the people now is a national columnist.Tom Wicker saw no moral difference, he said, between Pol Pot and Lon Nol. Noam Chomsky, a denyer of the Cambodian Holocaust, gets crowd wherever he goes. Ed Anser and Mike Farrell, supporters of Soviet client states in Central America, are icons of the left. Barbara Lee, who sat on a committee created by the Communist Party USA, is a member of congress.
38 posted on 06/15/2003 2:19:56 PM PDT by DPB101 ("Smearing good people like Alger Hiss and Lauchlin Currie is . . .unforgivable"---Eleanor Roosevelt)
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To: liberallarry
If that's true why wasn't he tried for murder?

Another classic left wing excuse. You must know the answer to your question. Pat Moynihan spoke of it often before his death.

39 posted on 06/15/2003 2:26:29 PM PDT by DPB101 ("Smearing good people like Alger Hiss and Lauchlin Currie is . . .unforgivable"---Eleanor Roosevelt)
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To: DPB101
I haven't read "Useful Idiots" yet.It might be timely.
40 posted on 06/15/2003 2:29:45 PM PDT by MEG33
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To: DPB101
John Reed. Didn't Warren Beatty make a movie about him?

From IMDB

Reds (1981)

Writing has been the only escape of Louise Bryant until she goes to a lecture one night in 1912 and is mesmerized by a radical journalist, John Reed. She leaves her husband and goes to Greenwich Village with Reed where she keeps writing, covering the 1913 Armory Show of post-impressionist paintings from Europe. Reed is so wrapped up in changing the world that Louise leaves him for awhile and stays with a playwright, Eugene O'Neill. She returns to Reed. He goes to Russia and covers the 1917 Revolution. She never forgets Reed. the only American to be buried next to the Kremlin wall.

Summary written by Dale O'Connor {daleoc@interaccess.com}

This movie tells the true story of John Reed, a radical American journalist around the time of World War I. He soon meets Louise Bryant, a respectable married woman, who dumps her husband for Reed and becomes an important feminist and radical in her own right. After involvement with labor and political disputes in the US, they go to Russia in time for the October Revolution in 1917, when the Communists siezed power. Inspired, they return to the US, hoping to lead a similar revolution. A particularly fascinating aspect of the movie is the inclusion of interviews with "witnesses", the real-life surviving participants in the events of the movie.

Summary written by Reid Gagle

So...we had a movie glorifying a traitor to the United States. Financed by Warren Beatty and the other Hollywood commies. Like I said, we need Senator McCarthy again. He was right.

41 posted on 06/15/2003 2:38:06 PM PDT by I_Love_My_Husband
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To: liberallarry
It's still done. Suspected drug dealers routinely face a version of it (with less serious consequences). If the accused is guilty it can be very effective. But if he's innocent...? Do you really have so much confidence in our system of justice? In any system of human justice? What was the purpose of the Fifth amendment if not to prevent government from using its overwhelming power to extort confessions?

But the Rosenbergs weren't the accused; they were the convicted. So was Bruno Richard Hauptman.

If Julius Rosenberg hadn't marched lockstep with the dictum that American Communist spies are never to admit guilt (in Great Britain they were told to do just the opposite), he and Ethel might still be alive today.

42 posted on 06/15/2003 2:39:59 PM PDT by UbIwerks
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To: Pharmboy
Someone on this board (I can't remember who) suggested that the VENONA information should have been made public very early on, possibly during the Rosenberg trial. It might have (a) derailed the Left's efforts to scream that the Rosenbergs (and Hiss, et cetera) were framed, and (b) derailed the more BS-filled endeavours by Joseph McCarthy.
43 posted on 06/15/2003 2:44:08 PM PDT by Poohbah (I must be all here, because I'm not all there!)
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To: liberallarry
Whose system of justice would you prefer?
44 posted on 06/15/2003 2:44:21 PM PDT by MEG33
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To: jshermn
History has revealed pretty much that they were spies, and deserved their fate. So did many others involved in our nuclear program. There was a recent Nova episode on the stuff that Fuches and others did that did unbelievable damage. I believe it was the "Project Verona" episode.

There's this calm, nice looking older guy who worked at the Manhatten project.. His demeanor totally changes when they ask what should've happened to one of the spies (who took off to Russia I believe). He shouts "Shot! They were enemies of the USA, they were military men, and should've been summarily executed!".

It was a real wakeup call to me.. Scary stuff. The feel good crapola about the 'poor' Rosenbergs makes me ill. They were traitors and communists... We still have those around to deal with as well.
45 posted on 06/15/2003 2:45:09 PM PDT by Monty22
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To: Monty22
True.
46 posted on 06/15/2003 2:48:34 PM PDT by MEG33
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To: Monty22
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/venona/intercepts.html

I made a few small mistakes in my post, but that's the link to the source I was speaking about.
47 posted on 06/15/2003 2:49:37 PM PDT by Monty22
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To: Monty22
PBS/NOVA..definitely not a right wing hotbed!
48 posted on 06/15/2003 2:54:29 PM PDT by MEG33
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To: Poohbah
Someone on this board (I can't remember who) suggested that the VENONA information should have been made public very early on, possibly during the Rosenberg trial

See the link in #38. Daniel Patrick Moynihan suggested we should have done that. Toward the end of his life he seemed to realize what over 50 years of liberal lies had done to his party and to America.

49 posted on 06/15/2003 2:55:48 PM PDT by DPB101 ("Smearing good people like Alger Hiss and Lauchlin Currie is . . .unforgivable"---Eleanor Roosevelt)
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To: UbIwerks
But the Rosenbergs weren't the accused; they were the convicted

I'm no expert. My information comes from casual reading. Here's the way I read this article;

As leverage against Julius, Ethel was also indicted on what, in retrospect, appears to have been flimsy evidence. The government didn't have to prove that anything of value was delivered to the Soviets, only that the participants acted to advance their goal... But to justify the death penalty, which was invoked to press the Rosenbergs to confess and implicate others, the government left the impression that the couple had handed America's mightiest weapon to the Soviets and precipitated the Korean War... The government's strategy backfired. Ethel wouldn't budge. The Rosenbergs refused to confess and were convicted.

In other words, they were threatened with death before trial in order to try to force a confession.

50 posted on 06/15/2003 2:58:38 PM PDT by liberallarry
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